Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What group was set up in 1977 to help explain the Kennedy assassination?

2. How often could autopsies be performed in Massachusetts?

3. Perez and Narcisco were found guilty of what?

4. What does Baden find caused the death of the woman at the fund raising dinner?

5. What disease does Humes purposefully leave out of the notes of the autopsy?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

2. Explain how ricin came into fame in 1978.

3. What was Humes' excuse about the faulty autopsy, and is this excuse valid?

4. What happened to much of the evidence in the Kennedy assassination case, and what does Baden believe occurred?

5. Describe why Baden notes the conspiracy theorists' use of the head movement of Kennedy after his shooting leads to unreliable conclusions.

6. List the three tests used to determine how long someone has been dead, and mention what they are.

7. Explain why identification of the victims of Flight 66 was hindered.

8. Describe the event in Oklahoma that caused the state to create an office of medical examiner.

9. Explain why Baden believes people go into particular medical professions.

10. Explain what Baden notes occurs by the French Revolution as a way to bring bodies to medical schools for science.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Baden often questions the morality of others involved in the governmental process. He questions the DAs, the mayors, hospital coroners, military personnel, rescue workers, and still others throughout the novel on a variety of different levels. Why do you think Baden suspects nearly all departments of corruption? Do you think this comes from his own experiences as an ME? Why or why not? Do you think Baden is biased as a result of his experiences? Does this discredit his opinions about such issues as misidentifying remains, improper ME techniques, or looting of victims? Why or why not? What does this say about the credibility of his entire book?

Essay Topic 2

The novel discusses additional methods to deteremine time of death, those of the potassium eye test and the use of the digestive system.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Compare these methods with rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis. Why are these methods sometimes needed? What benefit do these methods have that the others do not? Be sure to explain your answer using examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

Baden closes the novel by noting that the system is failing, and has been failing for some time. Why does he say this? What does he attribute as the cause of this failure? What are some things he thinks can help fix the situation? Do you agree these things are important? Why or why not? After reading the novel, do you think forensic medicine, and the role of the ME, are important? Why? What power do they have? What are their responsibilities, and why are these important?

(see the answer keys)

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